Friday, 31 October 2014

everyday (part 41)

one first time each and every day - a new taste, a new experience, a new route, a new song, a new whatever. 

8. - 14. October

8.10. unmotivated trip to Kingston missing sunny Mallorca and finding out that an English pound (454gr) is not equal to a German Pfund (500gr) - they always have to be awkward, don´t they?!
9.10. went to cinema again and saw "What we did on our holidays"
10.10. got to chose between a marzipan croissant and a yoghurt on my flight back to Frankfurt - needless to say that I chose the croissant ;-)
11.10. visited the Max Slevogt exhibition in Mainz
12.10. had a bath with a "green bubbleroon" from Lush which was nice
13.10. lost my "Tatort" virginity to "Im Schmerz geboren" - one of the best things I have seen in a long time, I was and still am overwhelmed! Why can´t tv be more like this more often?
14.10. went to see "Superhero" at Staatstheater Mainz

Thursday, 30 October 2014

bath time

Although Brits prefer soaking in a bath to taking a shower the choice of bubble baths, bath oils and especially bath salts is surprisingly limited in the shops.
In an average chemists you will have the choice of maybe 8-10 bottles of different scents but that is pretty much it.
In Germany the health aspect of a bath seems to be much more important (at least for marketing reasons). Baths fighting sore muscles, unblocking your nose, warming you up, healing your skin, relaxing your mind, making you tired, giving you energy, big bottles, small bottles, jars, sachets, etc.

I´m not pretending that you need this choice but I definitely have to import loads of sachets all the time to keep my bath time on the island interesting...and healthy ;-)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Mallorca 14/3

and more visual (and sometimes bizarre) tasters from Mallorca

if that is not enough, here is part 1 and part 2

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Die Landkarte der Zeit

Autor: Felix J. Palma
veröffentlicht: 2010

Inhalt: Eine Reise durch Jahrhunderte. Eine Liebe ohne Grenzen. Eine Geschichte voller Phantasie. London, 1896: Andrew, ein wohlhabender Fabrikanten­sohn, reist in die Vergangenheit, um seine große Liebe wieder­zugewinnen. Die junge Claire macht eine Zeitreise aus dem viktorianischen London ins Jahr 2000 und trifft den Mann, den sie in der Zukunft lieben lernte, in ihrer Zeit wieder. Inspektor Garrett jagt einen Mörder, der seine Opfer mit ­Waffen tötet, die noch gar nicht erfunden wurden. Alle Fäden laufen bei einem dämonischen Bibliothekar ­zusammen. Nur er kennt das Geheimnis der Landkarte der Zeit. Ein Fest der Phantasie, in dem der Leser Jack the Ripper ­begegnet und H.G. Wells, den Erfinder der Zeitmaschine, in einer völlig überraschenden Rolle kennenlernt. 

was mir gefallen hat: Das viktorianische London wird einem atmosphärisch dicht und sprachlich schön vorgestellt. Immer mit einem Augenzwinkern, mit viel Spannung und teils extremen Täuschungen des Lesers und Kehrtwendungen...

was mir nicht gefallen hat:...gegen Ende wurde es dann für mich jedoch mehr als ein Twist zu viel und ich wurde zunehmends verwirrter. Beweis ist, dass ich das Buch im Juli beendet habe und schon jetzt Probleme habe mich an einige Handlungsstränge zu erinnern.

Fazit: Irgendwie scheine ich in letzter Zeit ständig mit Büchern auf Zeitreise zu gehen - nicht ganz originell aber doch auch meinem größten Wunsch entsprechend. In diesem, eigentlich schon Steampunk-Epos, wird dem ganzen auf vielen Seiten eifrigst gefröhnt - gut gemacht und gut zu lesen aber doch auch mit deutlichen Schwächen gegen Ende hin, schade. Werde mich trotzdem bald an die Fortsetzung wagen.

Monday, 27 October 2014

question time 6

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

According to general knowledge based on popular self-help books failing is better as you learn more and won´t regret later to not have tried harder. I´m not so sure though.
I do believe in trying as many things as possible but failing badly is not automatically a good thing. Sometimes it might be nicer and more inspiring to dream about the "what ifs" than to cope with failure.

When was the last time you listened to the sound of your own breathing?

As I´m not one of those people who is constantly listening to music I do that fairly often.
But I have to be careful, if I do this too consciously I sometimes scare myself with silly thoughts like "Is it really a reflex to breath? I think I have just forgotten how this works...shit". Does anyone know this too? That automatisms suddenly become near impossible only because you concentrate on them?

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

First reaction:plenty! But maybe that is just my own arrogance and I´m probably not as different as I want to believe. One thing I do different is my marriage - haven´t come across a long distance relationship in it´s ninth year so far. And I fold shirts differently for putting them in the wardrobe.

What does ‘The American Dream’ mean to you?

As I´m not American and don´t really care about rags to riches stories it doesnt mean a lot to me. But, I remember a funny little story: In school we got asked during an English lesson what the American Dream means. I had heard it before and eagerly raised my hand " It describes the wish of many Vietnamese during the war to live a Western and rich lifestyle". My teacher was very suprised to hear this unusual replay - I had heard about it in the Musical "Miss Saigon".

Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

I identy with the worried genius so obviously have dreams about being a joyful simpleton. (Modesty would probably ask me to put a smiley after this sentence now but I won´t

If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give?

This too shall pass

Sunday, 26 October 2014

to explode or not to explode, that is the question

I´m in Germany, as always I´m trying to make the most of my time while being here before I head to my English exile again. Go to theatre, eat at my favourite restaurants, sort out eye tests, bank appointments, and, most important, meet as many friends as possible to catch up and be social.

Easier said than done (I vaguely remember I talked about this before) - matching busy mums, hard working office heroes and people from sometimes further away than 200km.
But it works, sometimes better, sometimes worse.

Then there are my two old "friends" from school, from now on I will refer to them as the two Graces.

Two weeks before my flight: "Hiya, just to let you know I will be home for three weeks and my calendar is still empty so pick a date :-)"


After I landed, Grace 1: "How about this day?"
(ONE fucking day out of three weeks!)


after approx. 10 more emails, answered within 2hrs from my side and within five days from theirs

me: "That is the date! When and where?"


Two days to go, Grace 2: "Oh, oops, I don´t have time on day x, have to find a different day!"
(yes, as I´m such a sad little creep who has nothing else planned now for her last week than sitting at home waiting for someone to take me out)

Tomorrow is day x, I haven´t heard of Grace 1, I haven´t replied to Grace 2.
Turned down other friends as I had a date.

I´m pissed off. BIG TIME.

I´m disappointed and hurt, I don´t expect to be the center of attention but a little bit of "Oh, you are here, so good to see you again" doesn´t harm and should come easy amongst friends.
Of course I´m the student, the one without the busy job so I´m not allowed to have a busy schedule myself- if I moan about the sheer impossibility of setting a date I take the blame "I never know if you are here/have time - it's always so complicated" (it's difficult to find out things like this in times of email/Facebook/phones, texts/letters, I understand that)

It has absolutely nothing to do with how busy you are - it is entirely up to you and your priorities.

The question now is - remaining silent, giving up and hoping for things to improve or die off?
Or writing that one email saying everything I wanted to say for years now? And then hoping for improvement or the end including having to swap sides on the pavement when accidentally meeting in town?
As you might have guessed by now, I love to provoke and speak my own mind but I'm no good at confrontations at all.

Why do we hold on to those who obviously don´t care about us (a rhetorical question, I know I should have ditched them a while ago)? Are you maybe stuck in a similar relationship were you hold on to something that isn't there anymore?

PS: And I promise, this will be the last post about this - no matter what I decide to do, it either will improve or be over now...I hope ;-)

Update: Grace 1 emailed "Yes, we can meet but I'm quite sick" - am I a monster now for having replied "Yes thanks but no thanks"?


Vergangene Woche hatte ich die besondere Gelegenheit zwei Theateraufführungen die auf demselben Buch basieren in unterschiedlichen Versionen zu erleben und direkt vergleichen zu können, eine spannende Erfahrung (die Frage warum sich die benachbarten Häuser in Wiesbaden und Mainz nicht besser absprechen bleibt offen)!


Autor: Anthony McCarten
Inhalt: Donald Delpe ist vierzehn Jahre alt und wie bei allen Vierzehnjährigen kreisen seine ­Gedanken nur um ein Thema: Sex. Aber ein Mädchen ­kennen zu lernen ist schwer, wenn man ein so schräger Vogel ist wie er: Stöpsel in den Ohren, Strickmütze tief in die Stirn gezogen, treibt er ziellos durch die trostlosen Straßen seiner Stadt. Donald hat Krebs. Durch die Therapie hat er alle Haare ver­loren. Nicht eben leicht, mit dem Aussehen ein Mädchen ­anzusprechen. Und ihm bleibt nur noch wenig Zeit. Helfen kann da nur einer: Miracleman, ein unverwundbarer Superheld, den Donald selbst erschaffen und gezeichnet hat. Donald verschwindet immer tiefer in ­seiner Comic-­Parallelwelt, wo alles möglich scheint, was die reale Welt nicht bietet. Erst der verklemmte ­Psychologe Dr. Adrian King ­erkennt nicht nur das ungewöhnliche Talent ­seines Patienten, ­sondern auch dessen Sehnsüchte. Mit unorthodoxen Mitteln will er seinem Patienten den ­letzten großen Wunsch erfüllen, auch wenn das seine Karriere gefährden könnte...

Staatstheater Mainz

Regie: Markolf Naujoks
Premiere: 10.10.2014

was mir gefallen hat: Die nur vier Schauspieler wechseln von Rolle zu Rolle und dies immer glaubwürdig und überzeugend. Da braucht es kaum Kulisse oder Kostüm, fantastisch.
Ich hatte große Angst vor dieser vormittäglichen Schulaufführung: Zwei Klassen von ca. 14 Jahren und dann "ficken" in jedem zweiten Satz...aber, oh Wunder, es herrschte Ruhe und alle waren voll mit dabei, Chapeau!

was mir nicht gefallen hat: Tatsächlich fand ich alles rundherum gelungen.

Staatstheater Wiesbaden

Iris Limbarth
Musik und Liedtexte: Paul Graham Brown (deutsch von Nina Schneider)

was mir gefallen hat: Die Szene wenn Vater und sein todkranker Sohn zusammen einen Joint war anrührend.

was mir nicht gefallen hat: Es ist immer schwer ein junges Ensemble das aus vornehmlich engagierten Laien besteht zu kritisieren, aber ich wage es trotzdem. Die Musik ist belanglos, das Rappen wirkt angestrengt, der Gesang war in der von mir besuchten Aufführung nicht auf der Höhe und die mangelnden schauspielerischen Fähigkeit fallen bei einer traurigen Story einfach zu sehr ins Gewicht. Die Balance zwischen Humor und Trauer und Realität und Comicwelt, verwässert hier.

Es ist schon erstaunlich um wie viel glaubwürdiger ein Schauspieler von 33 Jahren in Mainz einen 14Jährigen mimt im Vergleich mit einem real 16Jährigen in Wiesbaden.
Ein Stück das im Moment vollkommen zu recht populär ist - warum man jedoch ein Musical draus machen musste, bleibt mir schleierhaft. Die Mainzer Inszenierung schafft es trotz der derben Sprache eine zarte, nahtlos fließende, humorvolle und bewegende Geschichte zu erzählen die auch für Erwachsene relevant ist. Im Musical versinkt alles in einem Einheitsbrei aus lahmer Tanzerei und Texten wie "Sex ist ein Wettkampf bei dem beide den anderen gewinnen lassen wollen", hmmpf.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mallorca 14/2

and more pictures to hopefully brighten up your day

and if you want to see more: here is part 1

Friday, 24 October 2014

Max Slevogt

Max Slevogt (October 8, 1868 – September 20, 1932) was a German Impressionist painter and illustrator, best known for his landscapes. He was, together with Lovis Corinth and Max Liebermann, one of the foremost representatives in Germany of the plein airstyle.

Last week I finally visited the Max Slevogt exhibition at the Landesmuseum Mainz (one day before it closed again - anyone else always leaving things to the absolute latest?)

Before that he was unknown to me but as I tend to like everything impressionistic I was curious and didn´t get disappointed.

A wide spectrum of paintings and sketches inspired from various areas of life which to me suggests an interesting and versatile character. 
Opera singers, dancers, horse races, Shakespeare plays, wrestlers, pansies, portraits, cabbage fields or chocolate bunnies, it was all there on display and merged into a great exhibition.

Here are some of my favourites...

Thursday, 23 October 2014

everyday (part 40)

one first time each and every day - a new taste, a new experience, a new route, a new song, a new whatever. 

1. -7. October

1.10. went to our dingy cinema in Staines (but Brad Pitt went to it a few years ago too!) and watched "Pride" which was amazing
2.10. wandered around my beloved London and found the original "Black Books" shop, what a shame Bernard wasn´t in...;-)
3.10. walked into town without having had breakfast so made use of the cheap Boots meal deal and had a black coffee, a humous and falafel wrap, a green anti-oxidant smoothie - felt supercharged after that, ready for packing!
4.10. stayed the night at the BQ Hotel Augusta in Palma de Mallorca which was very comfortable and lovely
5.10. explored Castell Bellver during a thunderstorm
6.10. went on a treasure hunt through Calas de Mallorca
7.10. had a wonderful Cafe con leche in picturesque Valldemossa

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


director: Matthew Warchus
year: 2014
with: Ben Schnetzer, Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, George MacKay, etc.

plot: Its the summer of 1984 Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.

what I liked: The story is original, there is a lot to laugh about but nevertheless everyone is portrayed seriously and with respect. Great cast as well with no one letting it down.

what I didn´t like: Nothing - it was one of the best films I have seen this year!
Well, I found one teeny tiny mistake, in one scene they show a curtain with an owl pattern which IKEA sold 2013. I can be such a nitpicker...

verdict: One of THE films to see even - you´ll laugh, you´ll cry and you will get introduced to a different chapter of British history while feeling brilliantly entertained. Definitely watch it in English so you can enjoy the strangely charming Welsh accents.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mallorca 14/1

Impressions from our recent short trip to Mallorca where the sun spoiled us again and made us forget the fact that it was October already...the first night we spent in the capital city Palma.

Monday, 20 October 2014

What we did on our Holiday

director: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkins
year: 2014
with: David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly, Ben Miller, etc.

plot: Doug and Abi are taking their three children on a trip to Scotland for a big family gathering. They are in the midst of a difficult divorce, and have asked the kids to keep it a secret from their extended family. But as the inevitable feuds kick in, a completely unexpected turn of events involving the children causes further tensions to rise to the surface. And with the repercussions that ensue - hilarious and emotional in equal measure - the family are forced to put aside their differences and work together or else risk losing what they hold most dear.

what I liked: The balance between comedy and tragedy works and the film tells the story without lenghts. The children were not given a tight script and could improvise which makes a nice change from the usual unbearably precocious child performances.

what I didn´t like: David Tennant is not my cup of tea, Billy Connolly gets on my nerves pretty easily and when I see Rosamund Pyke I think of "Gone Girl" (though I haven´t seen it yet) and yell "BITCH" in my head so this is not a cast I would have chosen.

verdict: A British tragicomedy with a similar feel to "Little Miss Sunshine" - enough to laugh about, enough to make you think. More of a tv film than made for the big screens. Shame I can´t stand the main actors.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Der Ghostwriter

Autor: Cecelia Ahern
veröffentlicht: 2014

Inhalt: Herman Banks hat es vom armen Farmersjungen zum Multimillionär gebracht. Nur ein Wunsch treibt ihn noch um: Er möchte ein Buch schreiben, den großen, vollendeten Roman – und bezieht deshalb mit seiner jungen Frau das abgelegene Anwesen eines verstorbenen Autors in Südengland. Doch statt Inspiration zu finden, gerät Herman in eine mächtige Schreibblockade. Bis er im Zimmer mit der Kollektion alter Schreibmaschinen etwas Unheimliches vorfindet: das erste Kapitel seines geplanten Buchs ›Der Erlöste‹, von Geisterhand verfasst. Gleichzeitig beginnen Gegenstände aus dem Haus zu verschwinden … Ist Herman bereit, für seinen Lebenstraum alles zu opfern – wirklich alles?

was mir gefallen hat: Gut geschrieben, schnell gelesen, regt zum Nachdenken an und ist vor allem im Gegensatz zu Aherns sonstigen Büchern nicht kitschig...
was mir nicht gefallen hat:...letztlich aber ist es nicht mehr als eine längere Kurzgeschichte mit einem typisch offenen Ende.

Fazit: Erneut ein Büchlein für die Kategorie "Kann man lesen, muss man aber nicht". Die Geschichte hat mich eine Busfahrt von Mainz nach Karlsruhe lang recht gut unterhalten, Zweck also erfüllt.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

hyvää viikonloppua

well, I did try my very best learning Finnish four semesters long but didn´t achieve much :-)

Friday, 17 October 2014

everyday (part 39)

one first time each and every day - a new taste, a new experience, a new route, a new song, a new whatever. 

24. - 30. September

24.9. bought mushrooms on the market - cheaper, fresher and more fun than Waitrose (even though Staines market is still nothing compared to German grocery markets)
25.9. a truly royal day - first I saw Prince George and then "Richard III"
26.9. had the Pad Thai at the Thai street food stall on Staines high street for the first and was more than pleased
27.9. tried the new green Coke Life - it's ok but tastes weak, not sure I need it
28.9. lazy Sunday eating some caramel fudge ice cream after a nice walk - surprisingly it wasn't too sweet
29.9. had a look around Brighton's new Open Market off London road
30.9. had my hair cut at posh Trevor Sorbie at Covent Garden